Software Engineering

Youtube vs Reading

By September 11, 2020 No Comments

Throughout learning programming, I switch between youtube videos and reading programming books until I settled on one more than the other.



Reading programming books gives an in-depth insight into the workings of a programming language or concept. It just doesn’t explain how something works, but why it works that way. Unlike youtube videos, all you need to know can be found in one book. In videos, an entire or part of a concept might be explained in a single video, and whenever I compare I find that a book does a better job.

How to read programming books to get the most out of what they have to offer.


  • Many times all you need to know and more can be found in one book.
  • Most popular books are well recommended and written by reputable authors in the computer science industry.
  • Reading gives more information than youtube videos do.
  • Most programming books have exercises after every topic


  • Sometimes programming books can be extremely boring.
  • Reading takes a lot more patience and time than watching youtube videos does.



Youtube videos come in handy when I want to remember something real quick. All I have to do is to type what I’m looking for and pick what seems good enough from tons of suggestions. I use youtube videos for reference when I am pressed for time, but never for learning.


  • Youtube videos are best when looking for a fast reference, how-to, or a fix on something.



  • Not always having everything you need together in one video.
  • Youtube videos may sometimes leave out need-to-know information.


I do not often use Youtube as a means of learning, but I use other programming video platforms like Udacity. Though since I’m in school, most of my lecture videos are within the school platform. The professors always recommend accompanying the lecture videos with reading material like textbooks and papers. Reviews coming soon

In my current class, I am spending more time reading than watching videos. It does get boring at times but there are authors who have made their books very simple and light-hearted but at the same time comprehensive. E.g Head First programming books. This is the series of books I always go to whenever I want to learn a new language and I have never been disappointed.

Some of my favorites:

Head First Java Review

Think Python Review

Comment below on which you prefer.

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